Criminal Minds © not mine. Please don't sue.

So why did I write this? Because Reid is frickin' badass and he deserves a fanfic that shows his badassery. If you agree, please read and enjoy.

Mightier than the Sword

They had ten hours.

Ten hours, according to the profile, to find Spencer Reid before he was horribly killed.

Five agents versus six, possibly more, unsubs who had a pack mentality and one of their own hostage. Rossi and Hotchner had been talking in low tones in Rossi's office, comparing notes and theories. Elle and JJ were going through the case files in a desperate attempt to create a geographic profile. Reid had been taken too soon in the investigation – finding patterns was usually his job.

Morgan spent his time hovering over Garcia's shoulder. "Come on, baby girl, there's gotta be something on the computers!"

"I hate to break it to you, babe, but there's nothing I can do to make it go faster!" Garcia protested. "I just can't – "

The computer beeped.

"Nine hours, Garcia!"

"I have an address!" Garcia stood up and rushed out of her room. "Hotch! Rossi!"

The other two agents burst out of Rossi's office. "Where?" Hotch demanded.

"67 Exeter St in Valdosta!" Garcia shooed them frantically with her hands. "Go!"

"You're the best, baby girl." Morgan kissed her on the cheek before taking off down the hall after Rossi and Hotch, Elle and JJ on their heels. Garcia crossed her fingers as she watched them go.


They busted down the door, but found no resistance.

Hotchner felt his blood run cold as they searched every room, his breath coming harder as every room was empty. He feared what he would find as he ordered Morgan to break down the door to the basement.

What would happen to his team if their youngest died?



Reid's voice, strained but very much alive. Hotchner could finally breathe. Reid was alive. They fully entered the basement and froze, taking in the scene before them.

Reid was still tied to a chair, bruised and bloodied, but not in immediate danger. Five men were dead around him, throats cut, defensive wounds on their arms and hands. One held his own knife. The sixth man was in the far corner, gutted, trying to hold the skin together as he slowly bled out.

It was Rossi who broke the silence. "Reid?"

The youngest of them trembled a little as he spoke, chin lifted, a spark of defiance amidst the fear in his eyes.

"I do my best talking when I'm terrified."